Havana, Cuba — The increase in youth violence and police lawlessness are issues constantly criticized by the inhabitants of the municipality of Cruces in the province of Cienfuegos.
According to residents of this southern municipality, youth violence constantly fills the streets and has already caused deaths, without specifying numbers. According to some, most altercations occur late at night and early in the morning. The main stage for these events is the centrally located Martí Park and the Paseo del Prado.
The use of sharp and cutting weapons known as “Armas Blancas” — a term for knives — is the most frequent in these tumultuous quarrels in which local police don’t get involved and when they do they arrive after the altercation. This has happened on a number of occasions at the Cosmopolitan discotheque which belongs to the Cuban chain Palmares.
The inhabitants of this town are afraid to go out into the streets and publicly blame the police for the lawlessness, along with the sale of alcoholic beverages and lack of security around the recreational facilities to prevent those who go there from bringing weapons on their bodies.
By Ignacio Estrada
14 March 2013